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Sunrose Emplacement

In 2016 I produced a series of reduction colour woodblock prints that were inspired by wallpaper and the repetition of pattern. They were based on the flower sunrose (helianthemum). I could not bring myself to cut the paper of the final prints - I wanted to experience the prints as a pattern wallpaper.

While out biking in the Port Hills I visited some of the many gun emplacements that were built during World War Two. Nowadays their purpose is somewhat lost - the ones that are easily accessed are often tagged, sheep shelter in them and usually littered. I saw that I could paste my proof prints over one emplacement in particular as it had been painted grey.

With support of park rangers, wheat glue, and brushes on a beautiful Friday evening in February 2017 we pasted 120 prints over the emplacement, which was the old guard house for the Godley Head Fort.

The idea instilling 'Sunrose Emplacement' was to place traditional wood blocks prints into an out-of-the-normal environment. The viewers were cyclists and tourists and daytrippers, not people necessary seeking art. The prints and the gun emplacement had a symbolic relationship and made both important again.

Boundless: Printmaking Beyond the Frame

'Sunrose Emplacement' was accepted in to the Print Council of Aotearoa New Zealand's exhibition 'Boundless: Printmaking Beyond the Frame'.
Curator Mark Hutchins-Pond and guest selector Dr Carole Shepheard asked if I could do a similar installation in the gallery at Pātaka Art and Museum. The arrangement was that Pātaka would build me a structure and I would reprint the 100 prints needed to cover it. I travelled from Christchurch with prints, photo collage and supplies and took a day to cover the archway they had made.

The show is also travelling to two other public galleries Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, and Waikato Museum.

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